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Election / Proposal for ‘gas equivalent tariff’ would end energy inequality for islanders, SNP candidate claims

SNP candidate Robert Leslie.

ROBERT Leslie, the SNP’s Orkney and Shetland candidate for the general election on 4 July, has called for the introduction of a ‘gas equivalent tariff’ that would set electricity prices at the price of mains gas.

Leslie said electricity prices remain “unsustainably high” despite a slight drop in the price cap for July, which was announced at the end of last week.

He said the new price cap as of 1 July still leaves electricity over four times more expensive than gas, adding that action to tackle the energy inequality faced by island residents was more urgent than ever.

Looking ahead to the next price cap change in October, the forecast is that electricity prices will remain around 60 per cent higher than 2021 levels next winter, he said.

“It is a scandalous and indefensible situation for island residents that are surrounded by renewable energy resources that they are forced to pay higher prices for less energy than the households that have access to gas,” Leslie commented.

“The cost of a unit of electricity is still over four times the price of gas. The Tories ignored calls for a social tariff, but I will pursue the case for every island household to be classed as vulnerable, being off the gas grid, and so eligible for a social tariff that gives them parity with those who can access the cheaper fuel.

“The dire situation we are in, with a UK energy system that is no longer fit for purpose, means the case for Scotland to have control of its own energy and make the country’s energy resources work for householders and not shareholders is stronger than ever.”

The SNP candidate said Orkney had the highest fuel poverty gap in Scotland at £1,640, followed closely by Shetland.

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“If I am elected to represent these islands on 4 July I will fight tooth and nail for energy fairness for folk in Orkney and Shetland,” he added.

The other candidates standing for election in the Orkney and Shetland constituency are in alphabetical order: Alex Armitage (Greens), Alistair Carmichael (Lib Dems), Shane Painter (Conservatives) and Conor Savage (Labour).

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